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Posts Tagged ‘climate fight’

Jeff Huggins suggested I take a look at the new, ‘Clearing the Air‘ video from Shell Oil:

My first reaction was, how sweet and clever! What a great way to get people engaged in some otherwise boring, ‘clean’ tech story. The guy looks like Hugh Grant, and frankly, I am always a sucker for good old fashioned romance, complete with intrigue, exotic settings, and candlelight dinners. The entire 7′ film went by very fast, and I could have endured a lot more . . .

Still, I could smell greenwashing, and decided to do a bit of investigation. I did not have to go very far. One can always count on readers to surface the truth. Here, for your enjoyment, are some comments on a recent post on Green Car Congress, that featured Shell GTL technology:

‘GTL is a nightmare in CO2 terms as it wastes so much energy in making it. Don’t go there!!!

‘Yes it is a nightmare, but it requires no worries when using the fuel so a company can pretend they are researching alternative fuel uses while using it. If airbus were trying out bio fuels that would be a different matter. Then they would have to worry about compatibility and other problems. Thus GTL is the safe, easy way to pretend you are doing something.’

‘In addition to wasting energy producing it, if it’s from natural gas, it’s both a fossil fuel (not renewable), and not carbon neutral (so it does nothing about global warming).

Unless they are serious about sourcing second generation biofuels it does look like greenwashing. Funny because the A380 must use immense volumes of fuel.’

You get the picture . . .

Content set aside, the ‘Clearing the Air‘ video taps into an important psychological opportunity for climate fight messaging, and green communication in general. The eco-hero archetype is emerging from our collective unconscious, and elevating the climate fight to new heights, turning it into the mythical adventure of the 21st century.

Al Gore, speaking at the recent TED talks: ‘What we need is a hero generation’

 

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First day of greendropping in all the mommy sites. ok, there was also one dad site. I was surprised how easy it was to relate to the different posts. It helped that I was amongst my peers, and I could totally empathize, regardless of the content. A mom is a mom, is a mom.

Here are some of the comments I made, with a bit of context:

greendrop21.jpg on emomsathome‘s post on ‘Monday motivation, mom gets it done‘, about fitting in a day’s work:

Your post raises the question of, what does being efficient means as a mom?

There are many ways to evaluate, from how much work you are able to accomplish, to how much happiness you are able to create for your family. Both are important.

My own bias as a mom and green blogger is to emphasize the need for moms to come to terms with the biggest challenge facing our children’s not so distant future. I am referring to global warming. No, I am not paranoid, just realistic.

The good news is there is a lot we can do to make a difference. Most important is to set the example and inspire our kids to become responsible green citizens. By driving less, and walking and biking more for instance.

greendrop21.jpg on Parenthacks‘s post on ‘Reduce mess by putting ketchup under the hot dog’:

Love your link for recycling old mustard and ketchup bottles!

I wish you had a category for green hacking. I see global warming as the main threat to our children’s future. The more I read about it, the scarier and more urgent the problem seems to become.

Here is my green hack for the day: walk and bike with your kids, whenever possible. It’s good for them, for you, and the planet. Plus, it will save you gas money.

greendrop21.jpg on 5 minutes for mom‘s post on ‘Project Runway Winner’:

I too am a huge Project Runway fan. And I won’t tell who won . . .

As a mom and green blogger, I just wish green things got as much attention as Project Runway. Not as exciting, but so critical for the future or our children. Not a day goes by without more news about the urgency of taking action. The health and future of our children is at risk. As moms, there is so much we can do to. First, by setting the example and greening our lives as much as possible. Walking, biking, using public transportation instead of driving. Just as an example.

We are stewards of the Earth.

greendrop21.jpg on Scribbit‘s post on ‘Sprouting Egg Heads’, featuring creative way to turn Easter Eggs into miniature gardening pots for herbs:

Love the idea. Nothing wasted, plus you are teaching the kids about gardening, healthy eating, and also indirectly about green living.

As a mom, and green blogger, I feel we have so much responsibility towards our children, to prepare them for the environmental challenges ahead.

Thank you!

greendrop21.jpg on bitch PhD‘s post on ‘Consumer Sunday’, about her urges to buy a car and get a new appartment in Chicago:

Boy, can I relate to you! I lived in Chicago for ten years while my daughters were little, and I do remember those times of standing on the L Platform, freezing winds piercing through my never warm enough clothes. I did not own a car either and often wished I did.

This being said, times have changed and with the planet heating up faster by the day, I could never get myself to buy a car if I lived again in a big city like Chicago. My green conscience won’t let me. Months of blogging away about all that global warming shit have killed all my consuming urges. Actually, I have nearly stopped driving my car.

I am glad you are mentioning the environment. As moms, there is so much we can do to help prepare our children for the environmental challenges ahead. What scares me most is how close we are to hitting the wall. We do have the power though to set the example, and make choices for our family that will make a difference.

If you get a car, at least, try to get one of those fuel efficient ones, and limit your outings to those days when it is minus thirty with windshield . . .

greendrop21.jpg on Fussy‘s post on ‘Six Things I am All About This Week‘, about trivial things she liked:

Loved the Pepsi Commercial, and the Band-Aid touch . . .

May I add a #7?

How about something green, like taking a long walk with family for some CO2 free action?

Sorry, but I am a green mommy blogger, and I can’t help but drop green stuff whenever I can.

greendrop21.jpg on Design Moms post on ‘Baileys‘, a supplier of household items:

Wow! I loved the Eco-Household stuff. It reminded me of my grandmother’s farm back in France.

Lately though, I am on a no buy kick, and find great joy in making do with whatever I already have around the house. As a ‘born again green mom’ I find it incredibly satisfying to create aesthetically pleasing solutions out of ‘nothing’.

Small drops . . . Day after day, from me, from some of you. Let’s see what happens.

PS- I made up a greendrop21.jpg icon for the project. Please feel free to use it on your site, or anytime you greendrop.

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First, was Nadine‘s comment a few weeks ago:

oh, and blog away especially outside of the green media, seep slowly into the reticent consumer driven world.

followed by my discovery of Ryan Watkins-Hughes, and his ‘shopdropping‘ practice:

‘SHOPDROP: To covertly place merchandise on display in a store. A form of “culture jamming” s. reverse shoplift, droplift.

and then Kyle‘s powerful image:

‘The cup of change is being filled drop by drop in the dark. We hear each drop, and we are impatient because we hear the drops but don’t see how full the cup is. At some point it will overflow.’

Three seeds that did not go to waste. Some recent discussions on La Marguerite, have convinced me of the value of a blogging initiative aimed at strategically chosen populations outside of the green blogosphere. The three seeds have germinated and given rise to ‘The Green Drop Project‘.

‘To ‘greendrop': to ‘drop’ relevant ‘green’ comments in mainstream, non green blogs, from a predetermined list of targeted blogs. The blogs will be highly trafficked blogs in areas determined to be most amenable to climate fight conversion. The initial focus will be on parenting, religious, and business blogs.’

Tomorrow, I will start greendropping in parenting blogs, and reporting daily on my blogging expeditions. The following is a list of all the parenting blogs with a Technorati authority of 500 or higher, that I will be visiting:

http://www.5minutesformom.com/
http://scribbit.blogspot.com/
http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/
http://www.parenthacks.com/
http://fussy.org/
http://www.designmom.com/
http://www.emomsathome.com/blog/
http://eddiejohn66.blogspot.com/

I invite you to join me and report on your expeditions. When you do, may I suggest that you mention the Green Drop Project, in addition to your name and blog URL? This way, we will be able to track the project as it spreads.

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I just watched two short video clips of a recent talk from Al Gore at the American School in London. Very inspiring . . .

The first video explains why it is so difficult for us to sustain our awareness of global warming:

This is where a national advertising campaign with a thousand black balloons could help us remember.

The second video is a call for action from all the young people in the room and everywhere else:

A while back, I shared a drawing of myself exposing the disconnect I felt between my head and my heart. I love how Al Gore flips that problem around and turns it into an opportunity.

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Continuing our thread of conversations on climate fight messaging, I would like to spend some time discussing possible targeting strategies. While it is true that global warming is a problem that concerns us all, in the interest of efficiency, it makes senses to go after those groups of people who are most likely to be persuaded positively. If we were to use a traditional ‘shades of green‘ segmentation model, the obvious choice would be to go after people who are on the fence, not the minority of green enthusiasts – people like you and me -, not the uninterested, but the people who see global warming as an issue, and who need to be pushed into action. While being the correct target, it leaves us with not enough to go by in terms of executing a campaign.

A more interesting strategy, in my opinion, uses a combination of psychographic and demographic descriptors to identify high potential targets. I got the idea of considering demographic segments, from Mary Hunt. Mary has chosen to focus her efforts on women, the ones in the household who are responsible for 80% of the buying. Makes sense doesn’t it, when like Mary, you are trying to educate the public about sustainable standards for high ticket, high environmental impact items such as flooring and furniture? Of equal importance is the need to communicate with people on an emotional level. The global warming message has made it into people’s heads, but has failed to grab them by the heart. Appeals to morality and civic environmental duty can only go so far. People have to feel moved into action.

Environmentalists have to stop talking to themselves, and need to go out to segments of the population outside of the green landscape, groups of people who because of their natural interests or life situations, are most likely to emotionally connect emotionally with the climate fight. Based on months of exploration and conversations with readers, these are the clusters that seem to make the most sense:

  1. Mothers are programmed to take care of their young ones. Any threat to their children’s health and survival triggers powerful responses. ‘You mean my children may not be able to enjoy clean air, and the good life we have taken for granted so far?’
  2. Believers‘s morality is tied into their faith. If they perceive global warming as the result of man’s sinful handling of God’s creation, it becomes their responsibility to redeem themselves through restorative actions. ‘God has given us this Earth; it is for us to protect.’
  3. Business leaders care about the bottom line, a lot. Once they realize the path to sustainability is also good for their bottom line, they can become some of the fiercest warriors of the climate fight. ‘Green is good.’
  4. Nature enthusiasts have a deep connection with nature. Birders cringe when they read about land-bird species at the risk of becoming extinct, as a result of global warming. ‘Do you know how beautiful birds are? We can’t let this happen.’
  5. The overweight crowd are putting their lives on the line every day with their unhealthy lifestyles. They are getting the message to: eat less, and less processed foods and less meat, drive less, watch less TV, walk or bike more. ‘If not for the planet, maybe for themselves?’

So many ways to slice the pie . . . Which of these people would you be most willing to bet on?

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In one of his articles in the WorldChanging blog, Alex Steffen raises the question: ‘Who Will Tell the People? And How?

There’s enormous pressure here in the U.S. on environmental groups, scientists and public officials; pressure to play ball, to support targets that are politically safe, to be moderate. But this is not a situation where such gamesmanship will help our cause. Incremental and limited gains in this situation are in fact disastrous losses.

At the same time, we need to talk with people where they’re at on the issue, not where we wish they were. Somehow we need, in the next couple years, to guide millions of Americans through the progress of emotions — awareness, horror, despair, resignation, engagement, chosen optimism — that most of the people reading this site have gone through… and we have to do it in the next few years.

People are not really ready for this, but we’re not in a position to let that stop us. I’m not sure it’s too much of an overstatement to say that what’s needed is not just some issue education but a national mind-blowing.

I share Alex Steffen‘s frustration and his sense of urgency also. The media and the powers in charge have been tiptoeing around the reality at hand. I keep reading reports about 20 or 30% reduction goals for greenhouse gases in the next decades. Theses reports lead us to believe that things are not so bad after all, and smart technology alone should be able to get us out of our mess. Whose responsibility is it then to deliver the bitter pill of 90% reduction? And what are the strategies to make sure it has the desired effect on Americans’ behaviors?

To the question of who?, one obvious answer involves the media. Andrew Revkin‘s post on DotEarth yesterday, ‘Do the Media Fail to Give Climate its Due?‘, generated quite a lively discussion with the usual cast of characters: naysayers still, moderates, and radicals also. The reason the media have such an important role to play is as educators, and influencers of the crowds, so that the people will be ready to support the drastic emissions reduction policies that are to become an inevitable part of the political future. The objective is for the Most Inconvenient Truth I brought up earlier, to no longer hold.

Alex Steffen alludes to the time element of the process involved in bringing the public around. From personal experience, I can attest to the time lag, between initial exposure to the facts, and actual conversion. From the time when I attended Al Gore‘s presentation of An Inconvenient Truth, back in December 2005 – the first schock to my oblivious brain -, to the time when I finally became willing to make changes in my lifestyle, a good two years passed. Steven Running‘s Climate Grief model is most useful in that respect.

We then need to look at what is meant by the media. Sure, the New York Times, and other national publications, and TV stations have to play their part, but the advertising media should be considered as well. I have been pushing for a large scale, climate fight awareness advertising campaign. Al Gore, of all people should be the one spearheading such an effort. I hear his new book, ‘The Path to Survival‘ will be released next month. That’s good, and it’s not enough. Any good marketer will tell you that PR and the press can only generate so much awareness and persuasion. At some point, one needs to consider taking out the big guns, in this case, advertising. Ask all the presidential candidates!

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The Swiss are proving that a few hundred thousand citizens, is all it takes to get authorities moving on the climate fight:

A people’s initiative calling for the government to slash greenhouse gases by 30 per cent by 2020 is set to come to a nationwide vote.

Pressure is mounting on the authorities to do more to fight global warming in Switzerland, especially after the government’s latest package of measures met with a mixed response.

Green groups and centre-left parties handed in their initiative to the Federal Chancellery in the capital, Bern, on Friday.

They managed to collect more than 150,000 signatures in just a year. To force a vote, 100,000 signatures have to be collected in 18 months under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy.

For Thomas Vellacott, president of the initiative, the popularity of the proposal – people were reported to have queued up to sign it – showed how important the environment was to the Swiss.

People Power Prepares to Fight Global Warming

“We know that people are getting fed up with a situation where everyone’s talking about doing something about climate change but no one’s actually doing anything,” he told swissinfo. “People are ready to see some action.”

The initiative calls for carbon dioxide emissions to be cut 30 per cent below 1990 levels.

“We’re saying that we want it to be achieved in Switzerland, so we don’t want it to be achieved by buying cheap credits abroad when we know that four out of ten are actually insufficient or nothing happens,” explained Vellacott.

The committee, which includes the non-governmental organisations WWF Switzerland and Greenpeace, as well as the Social Democratic and Green parties, also want to push for action concerning energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Now, all we need, is to change the laws to turn the United States into a direct democracy. In the mean time, we can always sign petitions and take the matter to the streets.

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